One of the most magical moments since becoming a Mum for the 2nd time, was when my breasts produced the golden liquid known as colostrum.
I never thought my boobs could produce milk, having had a breast reduction in my 20’s. Plus after the birth of Henry, there were never any signs that I could produce the ‘breast is best’ goodness.
But there I was, post birth, being ‘milked’ by a student midwife into a syringe…
Yes, you read correctly. There is no quick latch on stories here today folks, please move onto the next Mummy blog for happy ever afters. Nope, my son hated me. He would either scream when put towards an inch of my nipples or the complete and utter boredom of having to work for his meal, would put him instantly to sleep.
So for 3 days, a lovely girl (whose name I will never recall) helped me squeeze colostrum into a syringe so I could feed my son and build his newborn immune system. Thankfully he wasn’t adverse to skin to skin (whilst snoring like a trooper) so this thankfully helped the milking along.
Unfortunately, it also triggered my milk ducts to go into overdrive, so my boobs became mahoosive and rock hard. Which in the moments when little Georgie decided to entertain traditional breastfeeding, the pain was excruciating. I’m talking toe-curling, knuckle-biting, teeth clenching, breath-stealing, dear God why is this happening to me praying, every time my little Milk monster would latch on.
I spent 3 days in the hospital trying to learn this ‘natural technique’ and it wasn’t until the final hour of checking out that I felt like I mastered it. He latched on correctly and fed for a good 30 minutes, hurray. I even photographed it and posted it on Instagram.
On arriving home unfortunately without the support of my midwife, we instantly fell back into our feeding battle. Georgie would either fall back into his coma-like sleep or worst, latched on like a mini torture device ready to shred my nipples.
The lovely people at Bambis, Babies & Mums Breastfeeding Information and Support, came out daily to help with my struggle. I think most of the support team at this point had seen my nipples, but I didn’t care, God gave me milk, I was going to use it.
Alongside this I was crying, a lot. Here I was, a mental health survivor of my 2nd birth and I felt wretched. My cesarean was healing well. My baby was doing great. I felt on top of the world for getting through a tough pregnancy, but I couldn’t stop crying. My little milk monster wasn’t satisfied with having to work for his breakfast, brunch, lunch, snack, dinner… he wanted a bottle of formula. Hey, if it was good enough for his big brother, it was good enough for him.
2 weeks of “hey I’ve got this, oh no I bloody don’t” later and I called it a day. They say the first two weeks are the best for building up your babies immune system and Georgie along being fed on formula had a good amount of milk from me.
This was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make as a parent and even today, I still wonder whether Georgie and I would have eventually mastered the technique. However, on switching to exclusively feeding via the bottle, we were both much happier people.
However, we still had 2 teeny tiny little problems….
1. He was still falling asleep on the bottle, then waking minutes later screaming for food that I’d just poured away.
2. He isn’t a fan of formula of the ready-made variety, therefore a fresh bottle needed to be made ready to take out when we left the house.
My main problem with both scenarios was I never knew how long the bottle could be kept for. I roughly knew it was 2 hours, but being a sleep deprived Mum of 2, who had time to remember when a bottle was made?
That’s when the lovely people at Milk Monster came to my rescue with their clever little device. Created by Mummy & Daddy of 3, Victoria and Peter, they knew too well the struggle to keep track of the amount of time a milk bottle (whether breast or formula) could be kept safe and nutritional between feeds.
Not being able to find anything on the market that could resolve this safety issue, they came up with the innovative and rather genius Milk Monster. The milk monster is a super cute design in a selection of easy on the eye colours. The little guy has a customizable timer that allows you to input the amount of time the milk can be kept for.
For Georgie’s formula it is 2 hours, so as soon as I have made up his feed, I pop Piim (the name of our little blue monster) onto his bottle and I know how long I can keep it for. However, this really comes into its own when we leave the house. Being a Mum to a toddler also, we are out and about a lot, particularly on weekends when we attend trampolining or soft play. Because Georgie doesn’t like the ready made formulas, I make up a fresh hot bottle before we leave. Keeping in mind when his next feed will be. If he happens to want to eat within those 2 hours, I know that the bottle is still safe to use. If not, I know to discard it.
The Milk Monster has instantly become a part of our family and fits right in with my two little monsters of the same name. I want to thank the lovely people at Milk Monster for sending us Piim to try, but most of all, for creating this clever little creature.
To meet your own little Milk Monster, follow the link below: